Remarkably Simple Maths Trick is Something All Travellers Should Know | ExpatWoman.com
 

This Remarkably Simple Maths Trick is Something All Travellers Should Know

You won’t even need a calculator…

Travellers Should Know

All Credits: PA

Whether you’re an imperial traditionalist or a modern, metric system kind of person, you’ll invariably find yourself Googling “miles to kilometres” or vice-versa far more often than you’d care to admit.

When you’re travelling though, searching online for a conversion isn’t always an option and not knowing exactly how far you are from your destination can be problematic.

Have no fear though – there’s a simple answer without all the difficult maths.

SEE ALSO: Clever Ways to Save Money at the Airport When Travelling

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers you might recall as integral part of Dan Brown’s thriller The Da Vinci Code – but it is actually named after its 12th century creator. Here’s how it goes.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377…

How the sequence works is that each number is the sum of the two which have come before it. For example, 5 + 8 = 13 and 8 + 13 = 21 and so on to infinity.

Fibonacci was born some 600 years before the metric system was invented, but by total chance his number series roughly imitates the ratio between miles and kilometres.

Five miles is roughly equal to eight kilometres, while eight miles is about 13km and 13 miles is about 21km – and the pattern keeps going.

The strange quirk occurs because the golden ratio (that’s a ratio in mathematics exampled in the Fibonacci sequence) very closely matches the ratio between miles and kilometres.

Knowing some of the Fibonacci sequence offers you a way to work out conversions quickly and easily without the need for difficult maths or a calculator – and could come in handy in a number of places.

Such as across Europe

Venice’s Grand Canal stretches about 4 km (2.5 miles)

In Europe, everything from tourist maps to speedometers uses kilometres – which isn’t easy to get used to if you normally think in miles.

Or in the USA

The Grand Canyon is about 277 miles (446km) long

The US is one of a tiny minority of countries still officially using the imperial system for measurements.

Other countries that do the same include Liberia and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

And finally, in the UK…

The sequence tells us this equates to about 34km/hr

While many measurements such as weight and volume largely and officially use kilograms and litres, if you’re a driver in the UK you’ll find most distances given in miles.

This can be particularly confusing if you’re from Northern Ireland, where if you cross the border to the Republic of Ireland you’ll quickly find it swaps to kilometres instead of miles.

While we know this is a bit more than 34mph – 37 to be exact

Get learning that Fibonacci sequence, Ireland…

 
 

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